Our first Texas spring has been the most unexpected thing we have experienced since arriving at Fort Hood 6 months ago (aside from that freak winter storm). But unexpected in the BEST way possible!
Whyyyy did no one tell me how GORGEOUS spring is in Central Texas???
I knew that bluebonnets bloomed in this area and that I definitely wanted to see them while we were here. (It was one of the first things to go on my Fort Hood bucket list.)
As soon as the weather began to warm up I started looking for places to find Texas bluebonnets. I joined some Facebook groups and “bluebonnet watch” began in March with fields popping up south of Houston.
I could not wait to find a big beautiful field of blue blooms!
In fact, I was a little too eager. There are a few things to consider when chasing Texas bluebonnets.
Timing of Peak Bloom Varies by Location
Starting around mid-March, the wildflower Facebook groups were already filling their feeds with bluebonnet pictures. Most of these fields were a few hours south of us near Houston or San Antonio.
At the beginning of April, Texas bluebonnets and a plethora of other wildflowers were blooming in our area and I couldn’t wait to get out and get pictures!
By mid-April, Ennis (2 hours Northeast of us) was in peak bloom.
And by the end of April, most of the bluebonnets had gone to seed anywhere in a 3-hour driving distance from Fort Hood.
So, when you’re chasing Texas bluebonnets, keep in mind that timing is key. When you hear about a good spot in the area, DON’T WAIT! A few days can make a big difference in the fullness of the blooms.
And if you miss the weekend you were hoping for, check a spot a little further north for the next weekend.
These Are WILD Flowers
When I say that bluebonnets are WILD flowers, I mean that. No one goes out to plant and tend to these flowers. So, how full the fields are and how healthy they are depend on the rainfall from the previous fall and the spring weather.
There were several ‘good spots’ that people were excited about photographing this spring, but didn’t live up to the hype. Apparently, there’s an abandoned section of railroad tracks that is normally filled with bluebonnets where people love to take pictures. However, this year there were only a few scraggly patches to be found there.
So, when you find a pretty patch of bluebonnets, take your pictures! Don’t wait for a ‘better spot’ because you might not find it.
Chasing Texas Bluebonnets Beside the Road
Don’t underestimate the patches of bluebonnets you find along the roadsides near Fort Hood.
For most of the month of March and part of April, I was holding out hope of finding a beautiful carpet of bluebonnets stretching as far as the eye could see on a back road or in a park somewhere. All while driving by huge stretches of flowers beside the road every day!
Most Texans aren’t giving away their secret bluebonnet spots, a lot of them are on private property anyway. As an ‘outsider’, I finally decided that I had to ‘take what I could get’. And honestly, it turned out better than I expected anyway.
I found a tip about a park in Temple with some patches of flowers from one of my Facebook groups. We dressed the girls up and headed out chasing Texas bluebonnets.
And while it was pretty little spot, there was a median in the middle of the divided highway that we drove to get there that made the BEST pictures.
There were several people stopped along the side of the road taking pictures and I’m so glad that we decided to join them! These are some of my most favorite pictures that I’ve ever taken!
So, if you’re driving down the road – headed to your ‘good spot’- make some time for a few stops along the way. I bet my next paycheck that you’ll pass big patches of bluebonnets on your way there.
Texas has been FULL of surprises since we first got here….and this beautiful spring was the best one yet!